Question from Umbra_Dominus
What is the best bow?
I'm looking for opinions on bows with or without enchantments.
This question is open with pending answers, but none have been accepted yet
A daedric bow with a custom drain health for 100 pts over 1 second will easily drop all but the most powerful creatures in one shot.
Depends. If you find a bow with shock damage and you encounter a Storm Atronach, it's not the best weapon to deal with this one. The most common, unenchanted one is, of course, the daedric bow. If we talk about damaging health, we may want to skip the soul trap enchantments, light enchantments etc.
The Bow of Harm, which is found in random loot, is a Glas Bow with damage health.
Dragon's Bow is an Elven bow with fire damage +8 in 20ft. Also found in random loot (RL).
Blizzard Bow (RL) is an Elven bow with frost damage +8 in 20 ft.
Storm bow (RL) is the shock version.
Let's remove the area effects. Then you need:
(fire) Bow of the Inferno. +20 pts = deadric bow.
(frost) Bow of Winter. Same effects.
(shock) Bow of Storms. Also same effects.
Those are the best found in random loot.
If you're over level 30, the leveled rewards you get are at their best.
Here are the bows: Shadowhunt (from the Dark Brotherhood quest "A Lonely Wanderer", and Hatred's Soul. The last one could be the best in game, together with the hatred's soul arrows. They give the best base damage in the game. Where to find it? It's in the Chorrol oblivion gate (for sure, there are multiple). For maximum damage, lvl 19 is enough. In the oblivion gate, go to Embers of Hatred, which looks like a Sigil Tower. Accessible through the Fume vaults.
the best bow WITHOUT enchantments are the perfect amber and perfect madness bows. and enchant em' and they're even more dangerous
Right out of the sewers, you can get a Fine Steel bow on a ledge outside Ft Nikel on the way to Weynon Priory. There are a couple of +5 shock arrows sitting next to it that you can glitch clone. A good way to get multiple scrolls for cloning is at Necromancer dungeons like Ft Isterus and Ft Linchal.
A slighly lighter version of the weapon is the black bows from the Mazoga quests in Leyawiin.
The best bow at the start is the glitch repaired permanent bound bow from several blue stones (better than elven quality and weightless). The easiest stone to get to quickly sits across the bay from the waterfront on the shore north of Pell's Gate just across the double bridge (shoot a crab to damage the bow, fix it and drop it). You can get this bow right after emerging from the sewers by using the goblin head staff to kill the bridge bandit). Another bow stone is near the Ancestor Moth Temple (shoot a wolf waiting up the road).
The best magical bow you can find early in the game is the Frostwyrm Bow (+15 frost, 15 base) held by the Uderfrykte Matron near Dive Rock. I suggest going after her with a lot of poison. Unless you are playing with black soul gems, she has the only grand soul available early in the game.
Level 1 sigil stones will give you 10 pts health damage or 5 pts fire/shock/frost. It goes up by 5 pts at level 5.
If you are not in the mages guild, Hatred's Heart bow from the Chorral Oblivion gate (random Oblivion world #2) is the best, but it is very expensive to shoot.
Transcendant sigil stones put a lot of damage on a bow, but by level 17 the monsters are quite tough so the bows are little more than glorified pea shooters. Fire is best at high levels because Storm Atros are immune to shock, and undead are weak to fire and resistant to frost.
You can combine a transcendant-power bow with the best of the magical arrows, (Arrow of Cleansing, Arrow of Savage Frost, or Stormcall/Storm Strike arrows) and be effective in the middle levels (20s and 30s) but you need to clone a lot of arrows to keep up with the demand.
At high levels, you can pickpocket the powerful arrows at Pells Gate (Schlera Sestius), Brindel Home (Torbal), and Blankenmarch. You can also find them in the Boethas shrine quest. The wiki says that they are low level compared to others (level 6, 8, 11 etc.)
You can find a Bow of the Dynamo at Molag Bals shrine at level 17. Kill Olyn Seran for it (?or steal it?). This is a nice bow to have/find because it has soul trap (if you have Shivering Isles installed.)
If you go the mage's guild route, you can enchant a bow with Drain Health 100, Fire 9, Shock 9, Frost 4 using a filled greater soul gem from the Chorral Mages guild (and save the grand soul gems for something else). By the time you need something stronger, there will be more grand soul gems around.
For possible two-shot kills on all non-leveled monsters, use the following enchantment:
Grand soul gem
Daedric bow or better with Glass arrows
Soul trap 1-s
Drain Health 100-1s
Weakness to Magic, 100 for 4 sec (you need the 4 seconds for followup shots that can stack the damage - three seconds cuts it too close and under suboptimal conditions you will miss the cut off with many of your secondary shots).
This is a 3-4 shot bow when made with a lesser bow
At the highest levels, you will need a drain speed bow (ebony or better) with master level triple poison (or for goblin mages, a silence + paralyze + double damage poison).
Drain speed brainwashes the monsters into forgetting you are there (most of the time) and gives the poison time to work while you watch.
100 drain speed 1s
soul trap 20 seconds.
Look up how to make a drain speed spell after you get bit by a rat.
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